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Posted on 28 July 2020 by Catherine Murton

Community

We are a long way from getting back to normal, indeed we are told that this is the new ‘normal’, but it has been lovely to be able to meet up with family and friends, even huddled under a blanket in the garden or walking two metres apart by the sea. For me, and others I’m sure, it has been a period of reflection. We all lead such busy lives and some things are just taken for granted, like getting a haircut or being able to pop into a shop and browse for the items we want but, most of all, I think I have always just enjoyed the company of those that I love without ever considering what it would be like if I was kept apart from them.

The media has been full of lovely pictures and stories of reunions and I have enjoyed seeing the tearful grandparents hugging little ones and the residents of care homes meeting family members in marquees in the garden. My reflection on the enforced separation of families and friends has not only made me realise how very fortunate I am but it has also made me think more about how it is for those that live by themselves all of the time, particularly the elderly who may of outlived their nearest and dearest. For them the isolation, loneliness and frustration that we have all experienced, at least in part, during lockdown is something they have endured over a much longer period than a few months and they will continue to endure indefinitely.

If a positive can be found to the pandemic I believe it is the re-establishment of neighbourhoods and communities. From the clapping for the NHS on a Thursday evening, which became as much about supporting one another as it did for recognising the amazing NHS keyworkers, to shopping for those that were shielding or just chatting over the fence to people that have lived in such close proximity for years and yet we have never got to really know. These are things that we must hold on to and develop.

For an elderly person living alone contact with a neighbour, even for five minutes to say hello, can raise spirits and hugely improve the quality of life for that person. Collecting a few groceries when doing your own weekly shop isn’t a great inconvenience but it could save someone elderly or vulnerable making a bus trip or, worse still, going without necessities. The relationships and support networks that we have developed in lockdown are invaluable to all of us as a Community.

Pardoes Solicitors strives to be part of that local community. In the temporary absence of our free legal clinics we have developed podcasts on various burning topics (the first one has even been downloaded in Australia), we have re-opened our Yeovil and Bridgwater offices to clients with strict social distancing procedures to protect both clients and staff and we are using video conferencing, email, telephone consultations and socially distanced home visits (which should more correctly be described as garden visits!) to help our clients access legal advice.

If any of the team at Pardoes can help you, a friend or neighbour, then please do let us know. We hope that our latest initiatives have made legal services more readily available to everyone. The elderly are often particularly concerned about seeking advice when on a limited budget but our initial consultations are free of charge and there is no obligation to instruct us to act. I can be contacted on 01935 382680 or, alternatively, at catherine.murton@pardoes.co.uk. Please do get in touch.

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Wills